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Redskins fire Jay Gruden as coach after 0-5 start

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Washington (AFP)

Jay Gruden was fired Monday as coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, ending his reign early in his sixth season after an 0-5 start, the club's worst since 2001.

The winless Redskins lost their fifth straight game, matching Cincinnati for the worst start so far this season, with a 33-7 home defeat Sunday to unbeaten New England, the reigning Super Bowl champions.

"Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility," the team said in a statement announcing the decision.

"Moving forward, we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond."

Gruden, 52, is the younger brother of Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden. He was dismissed in a Monday meeting with team owner Dan Snyder and president Bruce Allen.

Gruden finished with a record of 35-49 and one drawn and only one playoff appearance, a first-round loss to Green Bay in the 2015 postseason.

The Redskins, looking at a third consecutive losing season after back-to-back 7-9 campaigns, were expected to announce leadership plans moving forward in a later news conference.

Bill Callahan, the assistant head coach and offensive line coach who guided Oakland in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, was expected to be named an interim head coach.

The Redskins enjoyed their only two winning seasons under Gruden, 9-7 in 2015 and 8-7-1 in 2016, when Sean McVay, now coach of the Los Angeles Rams, served as Washington's offensive coordinator.

The Redskins went with Case Keenum as a starting quarterback while rookie Dwayne Haskins struggled in limited action, throwing three interceptions in a relief role in a fourth-game loss to the New York Giants.

Gruden started Colt McCoy against New England and the attack continued to sputter.

Gruden also raised questions by benching running back Adrian Peterson for the season opener.

Washington's defensive unit is without tackle Trent Williams, the NFL's only remaining contract holdout.

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